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Aug 6 2012, 06:14 AM
Well, come on, did Vargas Llosa 'need' it? Or Tranströmer?
Point, though at least Tranströmer was hardly a household name on the "Even people who never read books know who he is" scale outside Sweden and obsessive poetry nerds, and most people on the street would probably struggle to name a book by Vargas Llosa (or they'd say A Hundred Years Of Solitude). Oates and Roth are one rung above that, they're more famous for not getting the Nobel than they'd ever be for actually getting it.

...I may have become slightly bitter over years of "The prize is USELESS if [popular author X] doesn't get it!" It used to be Greene and Lindgren, now it's Roth and Oates. It's become a meme that they have to get it. Actually giving it to them, however really fucking good American Pastoral and Blonde may be, is an exercise in pointlessness which would do nothing but devalue the prize and make it look like something you can get by yelling loud enough.

ETA: This sounds hopelessly snobbish however I put it. How about this: in being the most talked about possible winners for 10 years running, with endless amounts of articles and essays and blog posts about how they deserve it, I'd say that they've already gotten all the fame and glory the Nobel can bring. They've gotten it by conspicuously not getting it. The only thing they haven't gotten is the cash, and I don't think either of them is exactly living on food stamps.
Edited by Bjorn, Aug 6 2012, 07:19 AM.
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Nobel Prize 2012 · General discussion